North American Species of Pholiota: 253. 1968.
Common Name: none
Cap (25) 30-50 (60) mm broad, convex, expanding to plano-convex or plano-depressed with or without a low umbo; margin incurved when young, maturing decurved, level, to upturned; surface glabrous, glutinous when wet, viscid when moist, dingy reddish-brown at disc, streaked with darker appressed fibrils, fading to cream or buff at margin, sometimes decorated with veil fragments; context up to 4 mm thick at the disc, soft, yellowish, becoming buff colored in age; odor and taste not distinctive.
Gills adnate to adnexed, close, 4-5 mm in width, cream yellow in youth, maturing yellowish tan to light brown; edges even, colored like faces; lamellulae in up to 5 series.
Stipe 35-60 x 4-8 mm in width, round, equal to slightly enlarged at base, stuffed to hollow; surface cream yellow, pruinose at apex, lower portion becoming tan brown, covered with patchy, white cottony fibrils; partial veil pale yellow, glutinous-fibrillose, leaving remnants on young cap margin, forming a thin appressed band high on stipe, soon reddish-brown from spore drop; white rhizomorphs at base.
Spores 6.5-7.5 x 3.5-4.5 microns, broadly elliptical in face-view, similar but inequilateral in profile, smooth, germ pore and hilar appendage inconspicuous; spores reddish brown in deposit.
Scattered in needle litter and woody debris of coastal pines, e.g. Bishop pine (Pinus muricata), Monterey pine (Pinus radiata), and Beach pine (Pinus contorta); less common under coastal oaks (Quercus species) and madrone (Arbutus menziesii); also reported from the Sierra Nevada; fruiting from late fall to mid-winter along the coast, fall in the Sierra Nevada; common in most years.
Pholiota velaglutinosa is a distinctive pine-dwelling species. When fresh, the reddish brown cap has a glutinous coating as does the cream colored partial veil. The stipe in contrast is dry, cream yellow to tan, sheathed with patchy cottony fibrils. At maturity the partial veil forms a thin band-like annulus that typically collapses against the upper stipe and becomes reddish-brown from spore drop. The presence of white rhizomorphs at the base of the stipe is also a useful fieldmark. Pholiota decorata var. decorata is similar and also occurs under pines. It is distinguished by a viscid (not glutinous) cap, that is dingy yellow to tan with concentrically arranged, appressed light brown scales, and a veil that is dry, not viscid.
Desjardin, D.E., Wood, M.G. & Stevens, F.A. (2015). California Mushrooms: The Comprehensive Identification Guide. Timber Press: Portland, OR. 560 p.
McCleneghan S.C. (1991). A Systematic Study of the Genus Pholiota (Fr.) Kummer in California. Masters Thesis. Humboldt State University: Arcata, CA. 160 p.
Smith, A.H. & Hesler, L.R. (1968). The North American Species of Pholiota. Hafner Publishing Company: New York, NY. 492 p. (Web) (Protologue)